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CIL Frequently Asked Questions

What is CIL?

The Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) allows local authorities to raise funds from developers. These funds are used to pay for the infrastructure that is needed as a result of development.

Below are a list of frequently asked questions, the answers to which we hope will help your understanding CIL and its relationship with development.

How does the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) work?

CIL takes the form of a tariff per square metre (m2) of additional floorspace (gross internal floor area). The level of the tariff is set by the local authority. It is based on the need for infrastructure identified through infrastructure planning. It is also tested to ensure that it will not affect the viability of developments. The local levy rate(s) will be set out in a CIL Charging Schedule. Charges are index linked. Payments are collected into a fund to pay for infrastructure. CIL will be spent by the Council on infrastructure to support development in Cornwall.

What is infrastructure?

The Planning Act 2008 provides a broad definition of infrastructure. It states that it can include:         

  • Roads and other transport facilities
  • Flood defences
  • Schools and other educational facilities     
  • Medical facilities
  • Sport and recreational facilities
  • Open spaces

Detailed Infrastructure Needs Assessment schedules were produced by the Council and updated in 2016. These set out the infrastructure that is needed to support development over the twenty year period 2010 to 2030.

Why should development contribute to towards infrastructure?

Most developments have an impact on infrastructure due to their need to use it.  Gaining planning permission will generally increase the value of land. Developer contributions allow some of this financial gain to benefit the community by being used towards providing new or improved infrastructure.  This results in reducing any adverse impact that the new development may have on the existing infrastructure.

Why adopt CIL?

There are a number of benefits from charging CIL, such as:

  • flexibility and freedom to set priorities for infrastructure funding
  • a predictable funding stream that allows the Council to plan ahead more effectively
  • provide developers with certainty ‘up front’ about how much money they are expected to contribute toward infrastructure
  • ensure greater transparency about how much money is collected and how it is spent
  • enable a share of the levy to go towards local communities where development takes place.

Moreover, since April 2015, CIL provides the only means of pooling developer contributions. It is no longer possible to pool more than five Section 106 agreements to pay for a single infrastructure project, which makes it harder to fund larger items of infrastructure from developer contributions.

What types of development will be liable to pay CIL?

Development will be liable to pay CIL if:

  • it is a building which people go into to use, and
  • the gross internal area of new build will be more than 100m2 (this includes extensions to existing buildings), or
  • one or more new dwellings is created even where the new build floorspace is less than 100m2

Development will not be liable to pay CIL if it:

  • is a structure or building into which people do not usually go, e.g., wind turbines
  • is a change of use with no additional floorspace (if no new dwellings are created)
  • is a change of use from a single dwelling house to two or more separate dwellings. However, if the development also includes some degree of extension (creation of new floorspace) then it would be CIL liable
  • is social (affordable) housing
  • will be used for charitable purposes
  • is a self-build

What forms need to be submitted and when?

The CIL Regulations set out the process which needs to be followed.  Detailed guidance will be provided via Cornwall Council's CIL web pages prior to CIL coming into effect on 1 January 2019. In the meantime, the CIL Forms Index document sets out a list of:

  • the CIL forms required to be used
  • when forms need to be submitted, and
  • the implications of late or non-submission

Our web page on 'How will CIL affect my development?' may also be of interest.  In the run up to implementation of the CIL, any planning applications submitted after 1 October 2018 must be accompanied by a CIL Form 1: Additional information. This is so that we have the necessary paperwork in case the application is not determined before 1 January 2019.

At what point in the planning process is the amount of CIL, that a development is required to pay, calculated?

This is different depending on the type of application.

  • For Full, Reserved Matters and Certificate of Lawful Development applications, CIL is calculated when the application is determined.
  • For Prior Approval Notifications, as these are developments which are already permitted (by way of general consent), CIL is calculated at the point at which the development commences.

In both cases, all liable parties will receive a CIL Liability Notice advising of the amount of CIL due, and how/when to make payment.

When is CIL paid?

CIL is payable 60 days after the development commences.  The liable party will need to submit a CIL Form 6: Commencement Notice to Cornwall Council. This will be used to determine the date that payment becomes due. Cornwall Council has a CIL Instalment Policy. This sets out:

  • the number of instalments that can be made, and
  • the amount of CIL due in each instalment, based on the total amount CIL payable for the development. 

Whether a development is able to pay CIL in instalments depends on the total amount of CIL that is payable.  If a development is able to pay by instalments, then the Commencement Notice enables the Council to calculate each due date, and the liable party (or parties) will be sent a Demand Notice when each instalment becomes due.

How were the CIL rates determined?

The CIL rates are determined by:       

  • the level and cost of infrastructure needed to support planned growth in Cornwall
  • the gap between the cost of infrastructure and amount expected to be raised from other sources of funding
  • the impact of the charge on the economic viability of the area.

Anticipated infrastructure needs, costs and known funding streams are set out in the Council’s Infrastructure Needs Assessments.  The impact of charging CIL on development viability in Cornwall was assessed and reported in a Viability Assessment Report.  The assessment established development viability for all types of development. It also assessed the level of CIL that different types of development in different parts of Cornwall could bear. Development viability is the only real driver for the height of the CIL charges. The CIL Regulations do not allow the CIL charges to be politically influenced to direct development to, or away from, particular areas.

How is a CIL payment calculated?

CIL is calculated by multiplying the new floorspace that a development will be creating, measured in square metres, by the relevant CIL rate set out in the Charging Schedule.  The measurements should include all floors of a building, not just the footprint, for example, for a new dwelling with a footprint of 100sqm with two floors, the total floorspace created would be 200sqm.

What happens if a developer does not pay CIL when it is due, or does not follow the correct CIL process?

Part 9 of the CIL Regulations sets out the powers that a CIL Charging Authority has in enforcing CIL payment.  There are a range of penalties for not following the correct process. These include:

  • surcharges and interest applied to late payments, and
  • a number of mechanisms for recovering payments that are due, including court action

Detailed information on the enforcement process can be found on the government website.

What will happen to S106 developer contributions?

CIL will be the main source of developer contributions towards infrastructure beyond the immediate needs of the development site. However, the CIL regime does not replace Section 106 (S106) completely. Affordable housing provision, or contributions, lie outside the remit of CIL. These will continue to be secured through S106. S106 will also continue to be used for local infrastructure requirements on development sites, for example, local access or connection to services. Some of these requirements may be physically off site, but will be secured under S106 where:

  • they are clearly linked to the development site, and
  • they are needed to make that particular site acceptable

Many larger developments will be liable to pay both CIL and enter into a S106 agreement. The CIL payment and S106 obligations will cover different things. Developments will not be charged for the same items of infrastructure through both planning obligations and the levy. 

How do I make a CIL payment?

Details of how much to pay, when to pay it, and how to make a payment, will always be provided in the CIL Demand Notice that we issue to the liable party/ies. We will never ask for payment or provide bank account details via email. If you ever receive an email about your CIL payment which includes details of a bank account into which the payment shpuld be made, please do not make the payment but contact the Infrastructure Team at or 0300 1234 151.

Covid-19 - Do I still need to make my CIL payments?

Yes, we will be continuing to process CIL matters and issuing Liability Notices as development is granted permission. Payment of CIL is triggered by commencement of development, so if development commences, CIL becomes payable.  A new Instalment Policy came into effect from 1 April 2020, which delays initial payment by six months and then allows six months in between payments.  Any development which commences whilst this Instalment Policy is in place, will have those payment terms applied and set out in the Demand Notice. If you have any queries about making payments, please contact the Infrastructure Team at


Is CIL charged on affordable (social) housing? 

No. Any social housing included within a development is eligible to claim exemption from liability to pay CIL. As with all exemptions, a relief claim must be submitted and approved prior to the development commencing. To claim Social Housing Relief, a CIL Form 10: Charitable and/or Social Housing Relief Claim must be completed by all parties who have claimed liability to pay CIL.

What is the process for claiming exemption or relief?

Once planning permission has been granted- or for permitted development, the Notice of Chargeable Development has been submitted- the relevant CIL claim form should be submitted to Cornwall Council by each party who has claimed liability to pay CIL. The liable parties must receive a claim decision notice from Cornwall Council before starting any work on the development. Details of relief available and a list of claim forms can be found on the 'How will CIL affect my development?' page.

Do self-build developments have to pay CIL?

No. This exemption will apply to anybody who is building their own home or has commissioned a home from:

  • a contractor
  • house builder or
  • sub-contractor

However, individuals claiming the exemption must own the property. They must also occupy it as their principal residence for a minimum of three years after the work is completed. Community group self-build projects are also exempt where they meet the necessary criteria. 

The creation of residential outbuildings can be included in a Self-Build relief claim if they form part of the overall development.

Do residential extensions or annexes have to pay CIL?

People who extend their own homes or erect residential annexes within the grounds of their own homes can apply for exemption from the levy, provided that:

  • the main dwelling must be the self-builder’s principal residence. (They must have a freehold, or leasehold of at least seven years beyond the date which planning permission for the development was granted), and
  • the annex is built within the curtilage of the principal residence and comprises one new dwelling, or
  • the extension is an enlargement of the principal residence and does not comprise an additional dwelling.

There is no requirement for the occupier of the annex to be related to the owner of the main dwelling. There is also no requirement for the occupier of the annex to commit to staying there for a specified period (unlike the self-build new development). 

Annex relief can be claimed by completing Form 8: Residential Annex Exemption Claim. Residential extensions exceeding 100m2 will need to apply for relief by completing Form 9: Residential Extension Exemption Claim

Residential extensions of less than 100m2 are already exempt from CIL under the minor development exemption, and do not need to apply for relief.

What is meant by Exceptional Circumstances?

The CIL Regulations allow for relief from CIL in exceptional circumstances. However, this is not compulsory. To do so, the Local Planning Authority must first publish its intention for exceptional circumstances. Cornwall Council has chosen to offer Exceptional Circumstances Relief. All of the following conditions must apply, and any relief given must not constitute a notifiable state aid:

  • a Section 106 must exist on the planning permission for the development
  • the Council must agree that the cost of complying with the Section 106 agreement exceeds the CIL charge
  • paying the CIL charge would have an unacceptable impact on the development’s economic viability

Cornwall Council has a published Discretionary Relief policy which sets out the relief available.

If I am granted relief, could anything happen that would result in me having to pay CIL in the future?

Yes.  There are a number of disqualifying events that can occur in relation to each relief that is available, and if a disqualifying event occurs within the relevant clawback period, then the amount of CIL for which relief was granted, could become payable.

  • Social housing relief has a clawback period of 7 years.  Disqualifying events include any change that results in a qualifying dwelling no longer being a qualifying dwelling within the clawback period.
  • Charitable relief has a clawback period of 7 years.  Disqualifying events include sale or letting of the property, or if the owner ceases to be a charity.
  • Self-build (whole house) exemption has a clawback period of 3 years.  Disqualifying events include sale or letting of the property, or the development ceases to meet any of the self-build criteria, within the clawback period.
  • Self-build residential annex exemption has a clawback period of 3 years.  Disqualifying events include letting of the annex, or selling of the annex separate to the main dwelling, within the clawback period.
  • Self-build residential extension exemption does not have a clawback period or any disqualifying events.

In addition, if a CIL Form 6: Commencement Notice is not received by Cornwall Council before the relevant development commences, then any relief granted may be withdrawn (this does not apply to Residential Extension Exemption).

Can Self-Build relief be claimed if a development includes more than one self-build dwelling?

Yes, but developers need to consider the most appropriate way to gain permission for the circumstances of their development and allow relevant parties to correctly claim self-build relief.  This can be processed in a couple of ways (planning advice should be sought on the most appropriate route):

  • apply for a phased planning permission - this will allow for each plot/phase to be a separate chargeable development for CIL purposes, and so an Assumption of Liability form can then be submitted for each plot/phase by the relevant party along with a self-build relief claim. Commencement of part of the development would then not trigger commencement for the whole development.
  • apply for outline planning permission for the whole development, and then apply for reserved matters permission for each individual plot – as above, this will allow each individual self-build developer to assume liability and claim relief for their individual plot, and commencement of another part of the development would not trigger commencement for others.

If one of these routes is not followed, then a developer would need to ensure that everyone involved in the development has assumed liability and claimed relief for their portion of the development before any part of it commences – otherwise some parties may be left unable to claim relief.

How do I complete the relief forms?

The Exemption Relief Guidance sets out how to complete some of the more difficult sections included in the exemption relief claim forms.

What evidence is needed for self-build relief?

1. You will need to provide copies of all the following items:

a)    A compliance certificate for this development issued under either:

- regulation 17 (completion certificates) of the Building Regulations 2010 or

- section 51 of the Building Act 1984 (final certificates)

b)    Title deeds of the property to which this exemption relates (freehold or leasehold)

c)    Council Tax bill or certificate

2. You will need to provide copies of two of the following items showing your name and the address of the property as proofs of occupation of the home as sole or main residence:

a)    Utility Bill

b)    Bank Statement

c)    Local electoral roll registration

3. You will need to provide a copy of one of the following items (also see notes below):

a)    An approved claim from HM Revenue and Customs under 'VAT431NB: VAT refunds for DIY housebuilders'

b)    Proof of a specialist Self Build or Custom Build Warranty* for your development

c)    Proof of an approved Self Build or Custom Build Mortgage from a bank or building society for your development.

*Relates to warranties that you can take out on a new build house. The Warranty inspectors also visit during the construction as well as whoever is controlling the site. The most recognised one is the NHBC 10 year warranty – this would apply to new builds where the work has been controlled by the private approved inspector NHBC and not the Local Authority. 

LABC (Local Authority Building Control) also have their own warranty but it is all done through LABC direct and not the local Building Control offices.  LABC Warranty tel number is 0800 183 1755, or you can email them at

Will CIL money be spent where it is collected?

The CIL Regulations do not require a direct link between where the money is raised and where the money is spent on infrastructure schemes. The CIL Regulations leave it to individual authorities to decide how to redistribute CIL income. However, the Regulations do stipulate that a proportion of the levy should be passed on the local communities in which the development takes place. See Proportion of CIL for Local Communities below.

What will CIL be spent on?

CIL is required to be spent on infrastructure needed to support the development of their area.  The levy is intended to focus on the provision of new infrastructure and should not be used to remedy pre-existing deficiencies in infrastructure provision unless those deficiencies will be made more severe by new development.  The levy can be used to increase the capacity of existing infrastructure or to repair failing existing infrastructure, if that is necessary to support development.

Proportion of CIL for local communities

A proportion of the CIL income will be passed to the community where the CIL is raised - this is called the Neighbourhood Portion. This is in accordance with the CIL Regulations. The Parish or Town Council will receive 15% of the CIL income raised in the parish (this is capped at £100 per existing dwelling). Communities that have an adopted Neighbourhood Plan will receive a higher rate of 25% of the CIL income that is raised in their plan area (this is uncapped).

As well as the amount of development in an area, CIL income also depends on the actual CIL charge in the area. The charge will be higher in some areas than in others. This is because rates are set based on development viability which varies considerably across Cornwall. The CIL rates across Cornwall are set out in the Charging Schedule.

Development in some areas of Cornwall were found not be able to support a CIL charge. In these areas, CIL rate of £0 per sqm has been set. This means that the Parish or Town Council in those areas will not receive any money back from CIL- as 15% or 25% of £0, is £0. However, after carrying out a public consultation on CIL spend during summer 2018, Cornwall Council has decided to pass back a proportion of CIL income to these parishes.  Information about previous consultations is available on the CIL Consultations page.

A guidance document has been produced for Town and Parish Councils who receive a CIL Neighbourhood payment. This can be accessed on the Town and Parish Councils CIL page.


Which application types need to submit a Form 1?

The applications required to be accompanied by a CIL Form 1: Additional Information can be viewed in the Validation Guide.

Will payment of CIL be a material consideration in determining planning permissions?

Section 143 of the Localism Act 2011 provides that any financial sum that an authority has received, will receive or could receive in payment of CIL, is capable of being taken into account as a material "local financial consideration" in planning decision making so long as it is material to the planning application.

If an application was submitted before but not determined before CIL was introduced, will CIL be payable?

Yes. Once CIL commences, it will apply to all liable development where planning decisions have not yet been made. This is regardless of any prior Section 106 (S106) negotiations. This will also apply to developments that have been granted permission subject to the satisfactory completion of S106 agreements and developments at the appeal stage.

If a development was granted Outline planning permission before CIL comes into effect, will CIL be charged on approval of the Reserved Matters application?

No.  If a development was granted Outline permission before CIL comes into effect (1 January 2019) then CIL will not be charged on approval of the Reserved Matters application, even if that application is granted after CIL comes into effect.

Will a development be liable to pay CIL if planning permission was granted before a CIL Charging Schedule comes into effect, but the development commences after CIL comes into effect?

No. If planning permission has been granted before CIL comes into effect, CIL will not be chargeable on implementation of that planning permission. 

If a site was cleared for redevelopment before planning permission was granted, will the previous floorspace be taken into account in calculating the CIL charge?

No. The floorspace will only be taken into account if the existing building is still standing on the day that planning permission is granted, and:

  • in the three years preceding the grant of planning permission, at least part of the building was in lawful use for a continuous six month period, and
  • the existing building is demolished before completion of the development

Does CIL apply to applications to amend existing permissions or section 73 applications?

If a revised full application is approved, then CIL will be applied to that development irrespective of the fact that it had previously been granted permission before CIL came into effect.  If an existing permission (approved prior to the implementation of CIL) is revised via a section 73 application, then CIL will only be charged against any increase in floorspace being proposed - if the section 73 application does not propose an increase in floorspace to that in the original permission, then no CIL will be charged.

CIL is payable on commencement of the chargeable development; is this different to commencement of a planning permission?

The definition of commencement of development (see section 56(4) of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990) for CIL purposes is the same as that used in planning legislation (ie ‘material operations’ on the site), unless planning permission has been granted after commencement, in which case the development may be deemed liable when permission is granted. Commencement for CIL purposes includes site clearance and demolition of existing buildings on site.

The CIL Commencement Notice does not constitute the implementation of a planning permission, should you have any queries regarding the commencement/implementation of the planning permission please contact Planning General enquiries on 0300 1234 151.

I have an undetermined planning application with a draft S106 requiring financial contributions to be made and which has not been determined at 1 January 2019. How will CIL affect progress with my S106?

Section 106 developer contributions will still be sought, where necessary, after CIL comes into effect on 1 January 2019.  Some developments will need to pay both a S106 contribution and CIL.  The only impact that CIL will have on S106’s is that we will not be able to ask a developer to pay a S106 contribution towards infrastructure that we expect to pay for with CIL income.

Will CIL be charged on a Permission in Principle (PiP)?

No, CIL will not be charged on a PiP, but it will be charged (as appropriate) at the point at which Technical Details Consent is granted. 

Will CIL be charged on a development granted temporary planning permission?

No.  CIL is not charged on buildings for which planning permission is granted for a limited period.

Does demolition constitute commencement for CIL purposes?

Yes. Section 56(4) of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 sets out that demolition is a material start, and therefore triggers liability for CIL.  If your development involves demolition, you may wish to consider phasing the development so that the CIL liability is only triggered once you start work on the development itself, not when you demolish any existing buildings.  This should certainly be considered as an option if the case officer assessing your planning application is proposing to make demolition a pre-commencement condition.

Are the measurements that need to be provided to calculate CIL, the same as those required for my planning application?

Yes, the measurements are the same, but the definition of what to include in your CIL form is slightly different. CIL refers to the RICS code for measuring gross internal floor space, whereas planning applications ask for gross external measurements. The main differences are set out below.

CC Planning Fee floor space definition (Gross External Area)
  • Areas occupied by internal walls and partitions;
  • Columns, piers, chimney breasts, stairwells and the like;
  • lift rooms; plant rooms; tank rooms; fuel stores;
  • balconies;
  • mezzanines;
  • Terraces;
  • stores/bin stores;
  • enclosed external areas eg compounds and external sales areas (this also includes areas where the proposed development creates an enclosed area as a result of building works and this area becomes usable space eg quadrants within schools and office buildings);
  • perimeter wall thickness and projections (party walls are to be measured to their centre line);
  • open sided covered areas eg car ports and enclosed car  parking areas.
  • In addition to the above any areas set aside for storing equipment / vehicles / objects that can be moved in and out can be classed as usable floor area and therefore included in any floor space calculation for fee calculation purposes.
RICS definition of Gross Internal Area (used for CIL)
  • Areas occupied by internal walls and partitions
  • Columns, piers chimney breasts, stairwells, lift-wells, other internal projections, vertical ducts, and the like
  • Lift rooms, plant rooms, fuel stores, tank rooms which are housed in a covered structure of a permanent nature, whether or not above main roof level
  • Internal open sided balconies, walkways, and the like
  • Mezzanine areas intended for use with permanent access
  • Atria and entrance halls with clear height above, measured at base level only
  • Structural, raked or stepped floors are treated as a level floor measured horizontally
  • Horizontal floors with permanent access below structural, raked or stepped floors
  • Corridors of a permanent essential nature (eg fire corridors, smoke lobbies, etc)
  • Areas in the roof space intended for use with permanent access (BCIS)
  • Service accommodation such as toilets, toilet lobbies, bathrooms, showers, changing   rooms, cleaners’ rooms and the like
  • Projection rooms
  • Voids over stairwells and lift shafts on upper floors
  • Loading bays
  • Areas with a headroom of less than 1.5m
  • Pavement vaults
  • Garages
  • Conservatories (BCIS)


Is all development in Zone 5 areas zero rated?

Only residential development in the CIL Charging Zone 5 areas are zero rated. The CIL rate for non-residential development are Cornwall wide.

Is my non-residential development 'out of town centre'?

‘Out of town centre’ includes centres of any established village or town, not just the main towns named in the Cornwall Local Plan.  Where there is not a defined town centre boundary, then we would look at whether the proposed development constitutes part of the existing commercial centre of the village/town or not.

Will CIL be charged on caravans or park homes?

No, as they are not considered buildings for CIL purposes. However, this also means they cannot be taken into account as 'existing floorspace'.

Will CIL be charged on holiday homes/lets?

Individual dwellings that developers wish to use for holiday lettings would normally have a standard residential consent, and therefore be liable for CIL at the relevant residential rate. However, housing development that is subject to a holiday occupancy condition will be zero rated for CIL, or if a unilateral undertaking is submitted to control the occupancy of the holiday home.  A management plan restricting use for holiday purposes will not be sufficient to attract a zero rate of CIL.

If I wish to lift a holiday occupancy condition on an old permission will I be liable to pay CIL?

For developments that were originally permitted before 1 January 2019, the Council would not seek to apply CIL to an application for change of use from holiday to residential use, or to lift a holiday occupancy restriction.

However, where a development with holiday occupancy restrictions is permitted on or after 1 January 2019, and an application is made at some point in the future to change the use from holiday to residential use, or to lift the holiday occupancy restriction, then the Council would seek to apply CIL on approval of that application as it would result in a ‘new dwelling’.

Would CIL be charged on Prior Approvals under Class Q (change of use from agricultural building to a dwelling)?

Yes – any development that creates a new dwelling is CIL chargeable. Any existing ‘in-use’ floorspace would be deducted from the new dwelling floorspace created when calculating the amount of CIL payable.

Will CIL be charged on applications for new agricultural buildings?

Yes, if it is a building into which people would usually go. However, the Cornwall CIL Charging Schedule does not include a charge for agricultural buildings (only residential and three types of retail), so, whilst an agricultural building is CIL liable, in Cornwall we would not be applying a charge. We would still need to process the CIL Additional Information Requirement Form, but the applicant would be served with a CIL Liability Notice that says £0.

Will CIL be charged on Rural Exception Sites?

No, Rural Exception Sites will be zero rated for CIL and therefore do not need to pay a CIL charge or claim relief.

The Council's Vacant Building Credit Notes uses different definitions to the CIL regulations. Which one is right?

The Council’s Vacant Building Credit Note will be updated to reflect the revised NPPF, the NPPG and the CIL Regulations.

If the Council fails to impose an occupancy condition and I become liable to pay CIL, how can I claim relief?

Please visit the Planning Complaints web page. 

If a planning obligation is modified to release affordable housing from the restriction, will I be liable to pay CIL?

If there is a change to the amount of Affordable (Social) Housing  a development is providing, and CIL Social Housing Relief has been granted, then this would need to be amended accordingly and the extra open market housing charged CIL as appropriate. The CIL Regulations set a clawback period of seven years during which Social Housing Relief can be withdrawn.